Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fremantle Strike, March and rally - short report

What a day it began early 6 o’clock wake up and 7 am outside one of the five Fremantle Care. As expected Fremantle sent their senior managers to all settings. I wonder what rate they were paid for being there early morning? I suppose it doesn’t matter, they are clearly not enduring the sort of financial hardship the Fremantle Care Workers are facing as a result of the draconian cuts made 1 April 2007.

It seems a long time ago since the dismissal threat issued by Fremantle on 1 April this year. Lest we forget, Fremantle insisted that staff had to sign a statement agreeing to these cuts; otherwise they would be sacked . Good piece of PR? Is that how an employer, especially a Charity treats its staff?

Back to the events today. It was a great success, trade unions from across London came with their colleagues, family members and friends and joined in a fun march down Watling Street. I am sure the residents of Burnt Oak are now aware of Fremantle, and how badly they are treating some of their fellow members of the community.

The march finished at St Alphage Church hall. I wonder what Saint Alfege would have made of all this. He met a terrible end at the hands of Danish pirates. His body was moved by King Canute to Canterbury Cathedral and placed beneath the North side of the High Altar; a memorial slab now marks the spot where his tomb was. The anniversary of his martyrdom (St Alfege's Day) is 19 April.!

Back to the speeches, speaker after speaker came up to express their support and praise for the Fremantle Care Workers for their refusal to go quietly !
We heard that over 50,000 Trade unionists around the world are regularly checking in to the LabourStart website to hear news of the campaign.

Heather Wakefield National Secretary for Local Government sent a message of support to Fremantle Care workers “Your campaign has been the best possible response to the worst possible example of privatisation. It is scandalous that our members and vulnerable people should be at the mercy of a dogmatic love affair with the private sector which leaves service users and staff high and dry on a whim”

Two important news items which were fully supported by the Fremantle Care Workers Rally

First Karen Riessmann who was sacked earlier this week. The rally condemed the sacking and sent solidarity greetings to Karen and the members taking industrial action in defence of Karen.
Second we had Michael Gavan, Branch Chair of Newham Local Government. Michael has been suspended for the last three months for representing his members!
His disciplinary started last week and was adjourned until 19 November. The meeting expressed strong support for Michael and his branch.
Both these campaigns have the fullest backing from UNISON
Lot’s more to report but for now a few pictures which captured the day
fuller report later this week.

2 comments:

John McDermott said...

Keep at it comrades! You will have my continued support until you get justice and Freemantle get there come upance.
John McDermott UNISON NEC

Jon Rogers said...

It was an excellent demonstration and rally and an inspiration to all those of us who were there to support you.